Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced yet another studio acquisition – Bluepoint Games, the developers of the Shadow of the Colossus remake on PS4, and, most recently, the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls.
Bluepoint and PlayStation have worked closely together for years, but the news comes after the studio’s latest successful release, as Sony confirmed Demon’s Souls has sold more than 1.4 million copies since release. IGN spoke with PlayStation Studios Head Hermen Hulst and Bluepoint President Marco Thrush to learn more about the acquisition, PlayStation’s overall studio strategy, and about how, thoughBluepoint is steeped in PlayStation remaster and remake expertise, it wants to explore original ideas.
Bluepoint Wants to Make Original Games
Demon’s Souls was only released last November, and while Bluepoint isn’t officially announcing its next game, Thrush explained that the studio is aiming to work on original content going forward. No exact details about what the “original content” Bluepoint is working on will be, so it remains unclear if it is a new game that is part of an existing IP, or something new entirely.
“Our next project, we’re working on original content right now. We can’t talk about what that is, but that’s the next step in the evolution for us,” Thrush said, noting that, even with remakes like Shadow and Souls, the studio was already partially creating original content. He explained how, really, the growth of the studio, both in the literal number of employees as well as types of projects, naturally leads to this next step, especially given the team’s pedigree.
“The transition from remasters to remakes was to test ourselves and push ourselves harder for the next step,” Thrush said, noting the team was at about 15 people during the production of the original God of War collection, right now is at about 70 employees, and grew to 95 people at its peak during Demon’s Souls (with outsourcing work, too).
“Our group is a totally particularly skilled crew, the common enjoy among most people is about 15 years, and all of them come from unique development. It’s not like we are a gaggle of developers that got trained up on making remasters and remakes. We have that original game development mind-set in our hearts, and that is what we’re now prepared, sooner or later geared up with the support of Sony to push ahead and show what we will do, and display what PlayStation can do,” he stated.
And although the ability is thrilling for Bluepoint to be tackling its own sport, do not anticipate to look it too quickly. The studio has had a especially quick turnaround on its games, having labored on five PlayStation remasters or remaster collections and several ports over the last decade, whilst transferring from remasters in 2015 to Shadow in 2018, after which Demon’s Souls in 2020.
“When we are working on a remaster, on a remake, we’re very, very lucky and that we basically, the original group finishes the sport, we get exceeded that recreation, after which we got to polish it for some years,” Thrush stated, noting that that “polish” is, of path, quite a few paintings and unique artwork and design in its very own proper.
“You’re beginning out with the blueprint, proper? True authentic improvement, there’s a blueprint, you execute on it, and then it’s no longer amusing and you throw it away and also you start over. So sure, by definition, my default solution goes to be original development, of direction, takes longer. It has to, otherwise, you wouldn’t make a very good sport.”
And given PlayStation’s latest commitments to being inclined to delay games to let teams achieve their vision on a reasonable agenda, Hulst says so that it will be authentic for some thing Bluepoint and Sony’s various other studios make.
“It’s continually approximately making pleasant video games in a manner that’s sustainable for the teams, for the individuals on the groups. Because obviously when we acquired team like Bluepoint, this is a long-time period play for us, proper? We’re no longer in it to get some short results,” Hulst stated, explaining that, in quick, current delays of video games like Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok aren’t motive for issue.
“We’re very satisfied virtually with improvement progress that I sense accurate approximately the decision that we made there [with Horizon and God of War]. And it is very an awful lot the attitude that it is human beings first. We are a people commercial enterprise. Everything we do is about the developers, their fitness, their creativity, their well-being.”
Why PlayStation Acquired Bluepoint, and Why Bluepoint Wanted to Be Acquired
Though PlayStation and Bluepoint have been running together for years, Bluepoint has remained unbiased all that time. That has now changed, of course, and Hulst and Thrush defined why the two determined to make the merger legitimate and convey Bluepoint below the PlayStation Studios banner. And it in large part got here down to trying to make that running courting as useful to both facets as feasible to let the studio produce its nice work.
“Bluepoint is now in a place in which there’s hardly ever an entity possible that knows PlayStation better than they do, because they have got labored with such a lot of different groups on their respective, iconic franchises that they have had a developer perception in a brilliant way,” Hulst said, explaining that he let the crew finish up Demon’s Souls earlier than discussions definitely commenced approximately the purchase.
“We’ve expressed that possibly better together, ensuring that Bluepoint can attention on their games, can recognition on what they do pleasant, making remarkable worlds, superb person improvement, and make use of all the resources that we’ve were given to provide,” Hulst said.
And from Thrush’s attitude, the 2 aspects have worked so nicely together, making the acquisition happen without a doubt just lets in them to preserve doing so without any red tape getting inside the way.
“We’ve cherished running with PlayStation some of these years. There’s simply no one else we need to as an alternative paintings with, so we started speaking to these guys and it simply took place to exercise session,” Thrush explained. “And now our destiny is extraordinarily vivid. As Hermen turned into announcing, we have all these opportunities beforehand people. We have all the Sony aid. We don’t must grow to end up a giant studio. We have lots of assisting palms on the Sony facet now that may fill in for any gaps and hold our studio tradition.”
As for while the deal came together, Hulst defined that talks largely occurred after Demon’s Souls turned into launched, in order that the crew may want to preserve its awareness on turning in that PS5 one-of-a-kind. The two aspects saw eye to eye on why the acquisition could be beneficial and, to place it honestly, it lets in Bluepoint, and Thrush as the studio’s president, to attention extra on growing the stories they need to and not should fear as plenty approximately the security of the crew as a whole.
“I’ve additionally in my past run an impartial studio, and I found out that the quantity of work you want to do, even if you have near partnerships, on enterprise acquisition and making sure you hedge your bets, there may be quite a few energy that is going into that,” Hulst elaborated. “I recognise that if we take that off of Marco’s plate and let him awareness on what he wants to recognition on together with his crew… Then I think it’s properly for each events. It’s correct for them due to the fact they get to do what they love most, and it is tremendous for us due to the fact there’s even more consciousness with the aid of Bluepoint on what we want. And this is extremely good content, exquisite video games to come out of Blueprint.”
Thrush echoed this sentiment, noting the possibilities the studio has had for beyond games, just like the capability to hire the London Symphony to attain Demon’s Souls, or being capable of rely upon other PlayStation property, including already installed movement capture studios and more.
And even though PlayStation has been on a bit of an acquisitions spree these days – Firesprite, Nixxes, and Housemarque have all additionally been acquired as first-celebration studios this yr – Hulst defined Sony’s recent technique is born from a preference to allow these teams do their nice paintings with the sources of PlayStation at their disposal.
“The way we examine our institution of studios, and we’ve 16 internal groups as a part of PlayStation Studios, is very a great deal the manner we take a look at our video games. It wishes to be proper, it wishes to match what we are approximately in qualitative phrases, it’s got to be the right games. Same with the teams. The teams stay ought to have a very collaborative mindset,” Hulst stated. “They want to be great-orientated. We’re now not buying teams to just be larger. We’re only shopping for groups due to the fact we sense that collectively, we’re going to make some thing this is going to be even better than if we did it become independent from each other.”
PlayStation isn’t always always going to stop looking at capacity acquisitions, Hulst defined, however they need to be studios that both proportion the identical values, and can enlarge what’s provided to PlayStation players.
“We are open always to building new relationships or bringing human beings in-residence, however simplest if we adhere to the best-first mentality and the proper kind of revolutionary content material, new reviews, various studies. Because all of these groups, they percentage plenty, however they may be additionally very specific from one another, and that is what I truely like,” Hulst said. And I suppose that is what the PlayStation audience, the PlayStation enthusiasts, deserve, it is that numerous slate of games popping out of PlayStation Studios.”